Cut From the Family Album

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Ever feel that you weren’t your parents’ favourite child? As though, at best, you were adopted, at worst, they didn’t actually like you much? After wading through a box of old family photos I couldn’t help but come away with an inferiority complex. The reason? I seem to have been cropped out of many many family photos.

Don’t believe me? Be prepared to chortle at my lack of status in the family photo album. I’ve taken shots of the pictures in question on my phone. I’ve included part of the desk on which the photos were placed as I snapped them to reassure you that I haven’t cropped them myself for dramatic effect. The pink arrow also indicates me. Believe me, sometimes spotting me from a partial body part is harder than Where’s Wally. Wally’s Parents Didn’t Love Him edition.

Not that it was always the way. Before my sister came along I could easily be identified in family photographs:

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But then my sister came along and either my family forgot how to frame a picture or I stopped being the focus of their attention.

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Think that’s not too bad? Possibly just a slip of the camera? Here’s another shot taken the same day!

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No wonder my sister’s laughing!

Or how about this one of my sister and me (if you can call it that) sat on the Buddha statue at Sandringham?

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Alternatively, here’s one of my sister and my hand with my dad. I’m so glad they omitted me for the sake of the boxes in shot.

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Or this one where an expanse of grass and some sort of car boot affair takes precedence over me stood with my nan and sister.

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Again, two shots taken the same day, both with me hanging onto the left-hand side of the frame.

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My family can’t even blame the camera, as the style of print changes three times over the course of my cropping. Here’s a later version of us having fun at Pleasurewood Hills theme park:

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It does appear that my sister and I always stood in the same formation, pre-dating Ant and Dec. If only I’d sometimes stood on the other side I wouldn’t have been cut off so often. Didn’t make a jot of difference, as it turned out.

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(That other family captured on the train? Complete strangers. Yet the photo has remained amongst our family photos for nearly 30 years.)

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(There did seem to be a lot of photos of my sister and I sitting/standing on various cars as kids. I’m not quite sure what that was about. Must have been a 70s/80s thing.)

There was also a lot of photos of just me…yet still cropping me out of the frame. The selection included:

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I appear to be doing a Wack-a-wave in the photo above, so maybe deserve to be cropped from shot. But still, nothing reminds a person of their first holiday abroad like an expanse of white wall.

It wasn’t just bad framing that obliterated me from a shot either. I’m fully in frame for the next few photos and yet still not there:

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Happy Birthday, me.

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Cool shades!

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I would say that at least by being cropped from shots I’m saved the hideousness of my childhood wardrobe. And yet, looking through these pictures I still get an acute sense of my wardrobe being a one-child crime against fashion. Particularly the 80s. What was I/my parents thinking?!

Things haven’t really got any better as I’ve got older either (neither sartorially nor in terms of photographic representation). I’m always the person behind the camera (as no one else knows how to use it, or so they claim). The only photos that exist of me nowadays are selfies (minus the duck-face).

But I do also wonder what my children will think of me should they one day explore through my SD cards. Especially Noodles. He’s usually so fast I tend to catch him only from behind.

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I’m claiming it as a personal style though: the world through Noodles’ eyes. And he does have a very cute back. Or, at least, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. It’s nothing personal and I love all of my children equally. Honest.

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20 thoughts on “Cut From the Family Album”

  1. Loved this, thank you for making me smile. No, I think it was the other way around your parents decided you were too cute and would steal the show so they cut you from some of the shots. As for Noodles, I know a fairy that could zap him into place just once so you could get a cute shot of him face and all.

    1. Thank you – that’s very kind. I think it was probably more that I come from a family of shockingly poor photographers. We could possibly do with some fairy magic. Xx

  2. Hah! This is so great! Of course you’d feel left out and not favoured! What were they thinking? Perhaps they were so blinded by your innocent beauty the erred on the other side of caution not wanting the others to feel overwhelmed? Do agree on the clothes though….think we all have those pix in our albums…unfortunately, I also have the BIG HAIR to give testament to my own weirdness in the 80s in my pix!

    1. Yes, from the clothes I wore, being chopped from the pictures was DEFINITELY a good thing. Although Mum used to dress us identically so often I can’t claim that I had any better dress sense. And, oh my God – the hair!!! The less evidence of the perm I had the better!

  3. From most of the pictures I gathered you were simply too tall (or your sister too short). Though I did feel a bit sorry for you I have to admit that this story also made me smile a bit.

    1. I think I was too tall (or my sister too short). By the age of about 5 I’d learnt to crouch down whenever we had our picture taken together…only for my sister to copy me and crouch down too. I couldn’t win.
      I did have a good laugh looking at the pictures. Everything was written with my tongue firmly in my cheek.

  4. I was preparing to say that maybe you run around too much, like my youngest son. But you do appear to be standing or sitting still. This is too funny. Your parents definitely could have benefited from a class on framing photos.

  5. Ha ha, this post made me laugh!! The photos really are funny – I’m sure it was all done intentionally so that you’d have some great future blogging material 😉

    1. My parents, the prophetic photographers.
      Funnily enough, they do bring back some happy memories and looking at them over the past few days has made me chuckle a lot. But they really were shockingly bad at using a camera.

  6. I just found your blog thanks to lovely Lydia above 🙂 and i love it.
    I laughed at the cropped photos, whaat? I mean, I know that was a different time, we took our photos and hoped for the best result, but some of them are extremely not explainble 😀

      1. I especially like the one of the random family on the train. I’m pretty sure my parents have some like that too. Of just random people. Parent…. Sheesh. lol.

  7. I laughed until I cried. And wheezed. These are fabulous. I really love the shot of the random other family that takes precedence over your sister and the snippet that is you. My family photo album has tons of pictures like that, who are those people?!!!

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